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EIG COVID-19 Update | May 29, 2020

May 29, 2020

With our mission to uncomplicate the complicated, we’ve always thought of our work in immigration as people-first. Our goal is for these emails to make sense of the changes happening across the world. Please share these updates with your colleagues who may find this information helpful, too.

International Updates

Azerbaijan | The government extended its restrictions and border closure until June 15. These measures have been in place since March 24.
Case Update: 191 new cases, 26 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

Bulgaria | Current plans have June 1 as the date when the government will lift the mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers from some EU countries. The quarantine requirement will remain for travelers from Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Sweden, and will also include the UK. The ban on entry for travelers from outside the EU remains.
Case Update: 25 new cases, 25 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

China | The Chinese civil aviation authorities will extend curbs on international flights until June 30.
Case Update: 3 new cases, 2 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

Colombia | The government has extended the nationwide quarantine to July 1.
Case Update: 1,101 new cases, 79 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

Denmark and Norway | The two countries will form a bubble, allowing citizens to travel freely between the two nations.

Greece | Beginning June 15, Greece will open its borders to tourism from 29 countries: Albania, Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, China, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, New Zealand, Norway, North Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Korea, and Switzerland. Visitors will be randomly tested.
Case Update: 3 new cases, -8 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

India | The following OCI Cardholders who are abroad are now permitted to enter India:

  • The children of Indian nationals born abroad

  • OCI cardholders experiencing a family emergency

  • Spouses with one OCI cardholder and one Indian national with permanent residence in India

  • University students who are OCI cardholders and whose parents are Indian citizens living in India

Case Update: 7,466 new cases, 900 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

Poland | The government has amended the categories of foreigners exempt from the entry ban to Poland to now include drivers performing international road transport or international intermodal transport in transit through Poland to benefit from mandatory rest period in another country, school and university students studying in Poland, citizens of members states of the EU, European Economic Area, or Switzerland traveling through Poland for no longer than 12 hours to their place of residence. Spouses and children of the foreigners in transit are also eligible to cross the border.

Please note that after the change, family members of foreigners that hold a visa are still not eligible to enter Poland if they do not fit any of the other categories included above.
Case Update: 352 new cases, -47 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

Thailand | Foreign nationals who have a valid work permit or were already granted permission to work in Thailand by a government agency, and have an urgent need to return to the country, can apply for permission to enter. This policy change does not apply to any other type of Thai visa holders, including dependent visas, student visas, retirement visas, or Permanent Residents. This will not be applicable for Urgent Work Permit applications.
To travel to Thailand, the foreign national will be required to carry and possibly present a “Fit to Fly” Health Certificate issued within 72 hours before departure and a copy of their Health Insurance Policy with at least USD 100,000 coverage for COVID-19 in Thailand. Upon arrival, they must go into a 14-day quarantine in a government-designated quarantine facility.
Case Update: 11 new cases, 0 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

The United Arab Emirates | Beginning Saturday, the nightly curfew will shorten by two hours from 10 PM to 6 AM.
Case Update: 563 new cases, -320 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

The United Kingdom | Beginning Monday, groups of up to 6 people will be able to meet outside if they maintain social distancing.
Case Update: 1,887 new cases, -126 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

The United States | The USCIS announced it would resume premium processing for Form I-129, Petition for Nonimmigrant Worker, and Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Workers, in phases over the next month.

  • Effective June 1, 2020, USCIS will accept Form I-907, Request for Premium Processing Service for all eligible Form I-140 petitions.

  • Effective June 8, USCIS will accept premium processing requests for:

    • H-1B petitions filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication and are cap-exempt (for example, petitions filed by petitioners that are cap-exempt and petitions filed for beneficiaries previously counted toward the numerical allocations).

    • All other Form I-129 petitions (non-H-1B petitions) for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing filed before June 8 that are pending adjudication.

  • Effective June 15, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for:

    • H-1B petitions requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129 (or request for a petition filed on or after June 8) and are exempt from the cap because:

      • The employer is cap-exempt or because the beneficiary will be employed at a qualifying cap-exempt institution, entity or organization (such as an institution of higher education, a nonprofit research organization or a governmental research organization); or

      • The beneficiary is cap-exempt based on a Conrad/IGA waiver under INA section 214(l).

  • Effective June 22, USCIS plans on resuming premium processing for all other Form I-129 petitions, including:

    • All H-1B cap-subject petitions (including those for the fiscal year 2021), including change of status from F-1 nonimmigrant status, for both premium processing upgrades and concurrently filed I-907s.

    • All other Form I-129 petitions for nonimmigrant classifications eligible for premium processing and requesting premium processing by filing an I-907 concurrently with their I-129.

All dates are subject to change as USCIS continues to take on more premium processing requests, and USCIS will announce any changes to these dates accordingly.
Case Update: 16,362 new cases, -8,524 daily change, Last updated: 2020/5/29, 12:30 PM CEST

In this week’s Immigration Nerds podcast, Alejandra Zapatero, Erickson Immigration Group’s Director of Client Relations and Managing Attorney, joins to talk about the recent H-1B cap lottery, the steps individuals can take if they were not selected in this year’s lottery, and the paths forward applicants can take to maximize their opportunities in America.

The Immigration Nerds podcast shares stories at the cross-section of immigration news and policy updates, business, culture, travel, developing trends, and, for now, the coronavirus. If you have stories to share, we want to hear from you.

We will continue to send updates daily or as more COVID-19-related news is available. If you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or in past updates or want to hear more about a different topic, just reply to let us know. If you have specific questions, please contact your employer or EIG attorney.